Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spammers Trying To Cash In on Swine Flu Frenzy

~~Not really surprising.  At least spammers work hard to stay current.  They do have a tough job. But you got to really wonder : Who reads spam ? And who in their right -cyber-mind would buy from a spam email ?

Spammers Trying To Cash In on Swine Flu Frenzy

Nick Mediati, PC World

Apr 30, 2009 1:19 am

Worried about Swine Flu? If so, don't let your fear and anxiety dupe you into clicking dubious links in emails. Spammers are increasingly using Swine Flu in subject lines and messages to take advantage of people's fears of the rapidly-spreading Influenza strain, according to McAfee's Advert Labs Blog.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Congress Considers Limits on Deep-Packet Inspections

~` Now I am for the most a personal civil libertarian. 
But i am not a fanatic, and I accept that in public , using public resources, I have to follow rules. 
Speed Limits and seat belts on the roads. 
 No Smoking in the bar.

The Internet is a public space. I choose to go there.  On the Internet , there is crime , fraud,  and predators (both financial and personal.)

There has to be security.  A Cyber Police.  
So while I am not fond of my ISP or my Gov't being able to track my every move online, I accept it. 

 However I live in a free democracy and i can post anything I want here and write freely against any Gov't or
 Biz  when  I feel so motivated to do so.
If  I lived in Tibet I might feel different here.


Congress Considers Limits on Deep-Packet Inspections
By Frederick Lane
April 24, 2009 2:19PM
The House Energy and Commerce Internet subcommittee is looking into Internet privacy issues and deep packet inspection by Internet service providers. Chairman Rick Boucher called for greater privacy protection. An industry advocate actually called inspections pro-consumer. Boucher called the potential of ISP snooping "frightening."

At a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Internet subcommittee Thursday, Congress began the tricky business of trying to understand Internet privacy issues and launched another round of debates about legislation regulating the collection and handling of personal data online.

The specific focus of the subcommittee's hearing was the practice of deep packet inspection (DPI), a data-handling technique that allows Internet service providers and communication companies to look at the content of all traffic flowing through their servers.

ISPs argue that DPI is a valuable tool because it enables them to block illegal content flowing across the Internet, including copyrighted materials and contraband such as child pornography. One industry advocate -- National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow -- went so far as to argue that DPI is actually a pro-consumer technology, enabling ISPs to better filter viruses and other threatening content.

DPI gained notoriety last year when it was revealed that Comcast used the technique to throttle the flow of BitTorrent data across its networks. Other ISPs have suggested using DPI as a tool to prioritize traffic (perhaps based on a sliding fee scale), a technique that engineers argue is simply good network management.

Strong Privacy Concerns

But many worry that DPI can have profound privacy implications, since it enables ISPs to examine the content of all traffic, not merely that which is illegal or potentially damaging.

"DPI poses unique risks to individual privacy," said Leslie Harris, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. "Moreover, once the technology is acquired for a legitimate purpose such as responding to network threats, it will be hard to draw the line at ever more intrusive uses as third parties approach the network operators with proposals to monetize Internet traffic and the government makes greater demands."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Website lets users rate Congress

~~ But will it make a difference ? Probably not.
It will be fun , but will it help shape public policy for the better ?
I doubt it .

Website lets users rate Congress

By Victoria McGrane | 4/27/09 @ 4:21 AM EST

After 26 years spent working for the Senate, Elizabeth Letchworth knows a thing or two about Congress — including how much of a bubble it can be.

Now off Capitol Hill, Letchworth is poised to launch a new website next week that aims to keep members in touch with the rest of the country. will allow users to give individual members a letter grade, A through F. The site will display each lawmaker’s average, as well as breakdowns by political party and by grades sent by voters who actually live in a member’s district.

“The more and more pundits you have, [and] it seems like everybody now does a poll, it seems like we’ve lost the American public’s ability to just say it in their own words,” said Letchworth, who worked for the Senate from 1975 to 2001, rising from a page to become the first woman Republican secretary of the Senate, an elected officer of the chamber.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

E-Voting Firms Recognize That Open Source Software Exists... But Seem Confused About What It Means

I really do not like the concept of E-voting.
Paper ballots and their "hanging chads" while time consuming to count and not at all perfect,
are still physically tangible.
And it does not take an advanced degree in micro-processor technologies
to re-count the votes if there is a challenge by the losing side in a close race.
If the Florida votes in dispute during the 2000 Bush-Gore Presidential race had been Internet-Cast-Votes, history may have been different,
Maybe not, but I would not choose to risk it. To have the core of the American democratic process become an activity of cyber-space
is something I find spooky.
Hackers have proven to be some of the most talented minds of our time and there has yet to be a cyber-system that has been made impregnable to attack. When it come to voting for President or anything else, I would rather take my chances with the

---E-Voting Firms Recognize That Open Source Software Exists... But Seem Confused About What It Means
from the not-too-surprising dept
We've never quite understood why e-voting software shouldn't be required to be public information. For the sake of actually allowing an open and transparent voting system, it's hard to understand how any governing body would allow proprietary software to be used. There's simply no way you can prove that the system is fair and transparent if the counting mechanism is totally hidden away. For years, the big e-voting firms have simply shrugged this off, but it looks like they're at least open to discussing it. A trade group representing the big e-voting firms has put out a whitepaper discussing open source voting systems, where all they really do is show that they don't actually understand much about open source technologies.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gates may recommend new 'Cyber Command' - Security

is a very hot issue this week, and it has become a fact of gobal intrique.

NBC News and news services
updated 11:48 p.m. ET, Tues., April 21, 2009

While no final decisions have been made, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to recommend the creation of a new military command to face the growing threat from cyber warfare, a senior U.S. official told NBC News on Tuesday.

In the pursuit of cybercrooks, the FBI is casting itself as an ethical hacker.

I have mixed feelings here. While I want  the FBI to catch crooks in cyberspace , the civil libertarian in me is a little spooked here. 


Is the FBI Behind Spyware?

In the pursuit of cybercrooks, the FBI is casting itself as an ethical hacker.

Scott Bradner, Network World

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 06:55 PM PDT

More details are emerging about how the FBI engages in hacking and the planting of spyware.

This story goes back to at least 2001 when Bob Sullivan of MSNBC and Ted Birdis of AP broke the story of Magic Lantern. At the time the FBI did not want to say much, but now there is real information that clears up some things and reinforces real concerns over this approach.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hackers Steal Secrets Of US Strike Fighter

Cyber Spying as we see above is a serious concern of our Technopolitical Age.  As always in human history , all technology finds its war into warfare and spying.   


3:02pm UK, Tuesday April 21, 2009

Computer spies have broken into the Pentagon's £200bn Joint Strike Fighter project and copied information about its design and electronics systems.

F-35 Lightning II fighter

The F-35 Lightning II fighter

:: For more on this story click here to go to the Wall Street Journal.

Economic Blogger Who Angered Seoul Is Acquitted

~~ Korea is not the USA. Not all "democracies" have true Free Speech.
Most do not compared to the Good ol' U.S.A.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Economic Blogger Who Angered Seoul Is Acquitted

Associated Press


Published: April 21, 2009

SEOUL - An economic commentator on the Internet who criticized and angered the South Korean government but commanded a huge following was freed from jail Monday after a court acquitted him of charges of using the Web to maliciously spread false information.

The arrest of Park Dae-sung in January and his trial on charges of spreading false data in public with a harmful intent - a crime punishable by as much as five years in prison - prompted debate about how much freedom of expression should be tolerated in cyberspace in this extensively wired country.

Mr. Park, an unemployed 31-year-old, gained an almost prophet-like status among many South Koreans after he correctly predicted the collapse of the U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, the crash of the South Korean currency - the won - and the effects on South Korea of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Sunday, April 19, 2009

U.S. seeks hackers to protect cyber networks

~~ This is almost Surreal !!!

But it is the Technopolitical Age we
live in . Cyber-Spying among nations ,
even Cyber Warfare , and also Big Time Corprate Cyber-Biz Spying where billions of billions of $$ are at stake.

Man it is a
 rough place,

(Please use the post labels 
to view more on these topics )~~~

U.S. seeks hackers to protect cyber networks: 

Homeland Security wants someone who can 'think like the bad guy'.

updated 12:06 p.m. ET, Sat., April 18, 2009

WASHINGTON - Wanted: Computer hackers.

Buffeted by millions of digital scans and attacks each day, federal authorities are looking for hackers — not to prosecute them, but to pay them to secure the nation's networks.

General Dynamics Information Technology put out an ad last month on behalf of the Homeland Security Department seeking someone who could "think like the bad guy." Applicants, it said, must understand hackers' tools and tactics and be able to analyze Internet traffic and identify vulnerabilities in the federal systems.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 

~~~  Please Be Real !! 
 Anyway  MSNBC / AP,  you guys  are 
free to post my stuff on your site ! 
Thats fair , right? ~~~

Friday, April 17, 2009

Google Offers Links Free Downloads in China

Google plays by different rules in China.  In the past Google aided the Chinese government in censoring the Internet in China, and helping China track down Chinese bloggers.  Google wants the Chinese customers, but at what moral price ?

Google Offers Links Free Downloads in China

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company;jsessionid=ADF8AB0C2B6711C4B9D04A4D04484850.w6?a=350922&f=24

Kai-fu Lee of Google Greater China, in Beijing on Monday.

Alexander F. Yuan/Associated Press

Kai-fu Lee of Google Greater China, in Beijing on Monday.


Published: March 31, 2009

SHANGHAI - Trying to gain ground in one of the few markets where it is behind, Google said Monday that it had begun to offer in China links to free music downloads, a service it does not offer anywhere else in the world.

Reports of Internet crime jump 33 percent The total reported dollar loss from such scams was $265 million The Associated Press

~~ The more people go online the more crime there will be online. Just a fact of human history, crime follows where  people go.  This just means the Netizens got to be careful in cyberspace.   When you walk in a rough neighborhood , you stay on guard. The Internet is a rough neighborhood.

Reports of Internet crime jump 33 percent!!
The total reported dollar loss from such scams was $265 million.

The Associated Press

updated 4:58 p.m. ET, Mon., March. 30, 2009

WASHINGTON - A group that monitors Internet crime says complaints jumped 33 percent in 2008.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center said it received more than 275,000 complaints last year, up from about 207,000 the year before.

The total reported dollar loss from such scams was $265 million, or about $25 million more than the year before.

About one in three complaints were for nonpayment or non-delivery. The other most common complaints were for auction fraud or credit and debit card fraud.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership of the FBI and a nonprofit group that tracks white collar crime.


© 2009

Internet worm set to change tactics April 1 Outbreak shows importance of keeping current with security updates

~~~This thing was more scare than action. ~~~

MSN Tracking Image

Internet worm set to change tactics April 1
Outbreak shows importance of keeping current with security updates
By Jordan Robertson
The Associated Press
updated 10:42 a.m. ET, Mon., March. 30, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - The fast-moving Conficker computer worm, a scourge of the Internet that has infected at least 3 million PCs, is set to spring to life in a new way on Wednesday — April Fools' Day.

Someone whose machine is infected might have to reinstall the operating system.


© 2009

Obama hits e-campaign trail
Obama hits e-campaign trail
By Mike Allen | 3/30/09 @ 7:44 PM EST

Who’s going to ignore an e-mail from “President Barack Obama”?

He’s hitting in-boxes Monday night with a reminder to Democrats in New York’s 20th Congressional District to get out and vote Tuesday for businessman Scott Murphy.

The high-level get-out-the-vote reminder is paid for by Organizing for America, the successor to the president’s grassroots organization, now a project of the Democratic National Committee. The return address is at

Murphy is facing state legislator Jim Tedisco in the race to fill a Republican-leaning seat that came open when Kirsten Gillibrand was named to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The race is being covered as a test of Obama’s political swat because it’s the first major election since his inauguration.

Here’s the e-mail:

From: President Barack Obama

Date: Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 7:04 PM
Subject: Please vote tomorrow
Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the day to vote in New York's 20th Congressional District special election, and I need you to go vote.

I wrote to you last week to announce my endorsement of Scott Murphy because we need his kind of leadership and experience in Washington. It's going to be a very close race, and your vote could make all the difference.

Our movement for change has come this far because supporters like you stood up and made your voices heard every time it mattered.
Please look up your polling location and stand up once again for the change we need to bring to Washington.

With Scott in Congress, we'll work together to bring about solutions to our economic challenges and create new jobs in Upstate New York and across the country.

Having created over 1,000 jobs by starting successful businesses in clean energy and high-tech industries, Scott understands the potential we have to rebuild our economy and create a new foundation for prosperity.

That's the kind of partner I need in Washington. Please look up your polling place and vote tomorrow:

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

See Also Obama shakes up GM, Chrysler Detroit plan has GOP all over the map Carrots for banks, sticks for autos

@ 2009 Capitol News Company LLC

High court won't hear Virginia spam case

0. Home

High court won't hear Virginia spam case

March 31, 2009 4:49 AM PDT

The Supreme Court on Monday said it is refusing to consider reinstating the Commonwealth of Virginia's junk e-mail law.

The court's inaction upholds an earlier ruling of the Virginia Supreme Court that Virginia's Computer Crimes Act violates First Amendment rights. The broad law prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mails, including those containing political, religious, or other speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Virginia State Attorney General Bill Mims, according to other reports, is planning to draft a new antispam law in the next General Assembly session to address constitutional concerns.

Senate Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity

~~ This Issue really does not get
the attention it deserves ---YET !! ~

The Washington Post

Senate Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity

By Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus
Updated: Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Page 1 of 2

Key lawmakers are pushing to dramatically escalate U.S. defenses against cyberattacks, crafting proposals that would empower the government to set and enforce security standards for private industry for the first time.

The proposals, in Senate legislation that could be introduced as early as today, would broaden the focus of the government's cybersecurity efforts to include not only military networks but also private systems that control essentials such as electricity and water distribution. At the same time, the bill would add regulatory teeth to ensure industry compliance with the rules, congressional officials familiar with the plan said yesterday.

Addressing what intelligence officials describe as a gaping vulnerability, the legislation also calls for the appointment of a White House cybersecurity "czar" with unprecedented authority to shut down computer networks, including private ones, if a cyberattack is underway, the officials said.

How industry groups will respond is unclear. Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, which represents private companies and civil liberties advocates, said that mandatory standards have long been the "third rail of cybersecurity policy." Dempsey said regulation could also stifle creativity by forcing companies to adopt a uniform approach.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), was drafted with White House input. Although the White House indicated it supported some key concepts of the bill, there has been no official endorsement.

Piracy law cuts internet traffic


Some people won't go online if they cannot brake the law there it seems.


Piracy law cuts internet traffic
2 Apr 2009 14:10 BST

Internet traffic in Sweden fell by 33% as the country's new anti-piracy law came into effect, reports suggest.

Sweden's new policy - the Local IPRED law - allows copyright holders to force internet service providers (ISP) to reveal details of users sharing files.

Figures from Netnod, a Swedish firm that measures internet traffic in and out of the country, suggest traffic fell from an average of 120Gbps to 80Gbps on the day the new law came into effect.

Thumbs Up for Workplace Web Surfing

Thumbs Up for Workplace Web Surfing

MELBOURNE (Reuters Life!) - Caught Twittering or on Facebook at work? It'll make you a better employee, according to an Australian study that shows surfing the Internet for fun during office hours increases productivity.
The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.
Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said "workplace Internet leisure browsing," or WILB, helped to sharpened workers' concentration.
"People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration," Coker said on the university's website (
"Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the...
Photo: ABCNEWS (syndicate)

New Web address endings could be start of turf wars;jsessionid=3C05549DC063CB2F3075C2A594B99B8D.wap2

New Web address endings could be start of turf wars
4/7/2009 2:30 PM
By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

A sea change may be coming to cyberspace with Web addresses ending in anything from .a to .z. That has businesses increasingly worried they will have to spend millions to guard their brand names.

The familiar .com, .net, .org and 18 other suffixes officially "generic top-level domains" could be joined by a seemingly endless stream of new ones next year under a landmark change approved last summer by the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, the entity that oversees the Web's address system.

Copyright © 2009

Lawyers Realizing That Suing Gripe Sites Might Not Make Much Sense

<< Lawyers Realizing That Suing Gripe Sites Might Not Make Much Sense (Surprises) >>

by Mike Masnick

It looks like some lawyers may be realizing that suing so-called "gripe sites" (more commonly called "sucks sites") might not make very much sense (thanks to Bill Squier for sending this in). The lawyer basically points out what plenty of folks have been saying for years: these sites are usually perfectly legal. They don't violate trademark law, and almost every time such a case goes to court the company loses -- only adding more attention and legitimacy to the gripe site. Instead, the lawyer suggests ignoring the site is often the best course of action:

The best course to deal with a gripe site often is to do nothing at all. The site itself actually might have a little impact on a company's business and the ferocity of its venom might obscure the reality that it is only one of millions of sites that has little traffic and that is visited only by the disaffected, whose business is ultimately lost anyway. Also, if the target pays no overt attention to the site, its operator may lose interest in this particular cause and direct his or her ire to more recent, emotionally appealing, or reactive targets. Non-action can be the most difficult course to take where there is a demand that something must be done.

Control of Cybersecurity Becomes Divisive Issue

~~ "Control of Cybersecurity"
was Not a big Issue during the 2008 elections.
It is now .
Life is full of surprises.


Control of Cybersecurity Becomes Divisive Issue
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


Published: April 17, 2009

WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency has been campaigning to lead the government's rapidly growing cybersecurity programs, raising privacy and civil liberties concerns among some officials who fear that the move could give the spy agency too much control over government computer networks.

The Obama administration is expected to complete an internal cybersecurity review on Friday and may publicly announce its new computer-security strategy as early as next week, White House officials said Thursday. That plan will determine the scope of cybersecurity efforts throughout the federal government, they said, as well as which agencies will take leading roles in protecting the government's computer systems.

DoInk lets you draw,

animate in your browser

April 17, 2009 5:49 PM PDT

DoInk is a free online drawing and animation tool that runs right in your browser. You can treat it like Microsoft Paint and use it to do just a quick doodle, or take advantage of its layer cloning and vector-based designs to create relatively advanced animations.

I chose the latter, and put together a pretty slick looking animation in just a few minutes. Adding additional frames is simple and intuitive, and the app saves everything you're working on in the background (and in the cloud) so there are no local files to worry about. You can also hop between projects at any time, just like you would in a software app
Copyright © 2008 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spies 'infiltrate US power grid'


BBC Mobile

Spies 'infiltrate US power grid'
9 Apr 2009 3:30 BST

By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

The US government has admitted the nation's power grid is vulnerable to cyber attack, following reports it has been infiltrated by foreign spies.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) newspaper reported that Chinese and Russian spies were behind this "pervasive" breach.

It said software had been left behind that could shut down the electric grid.

BBC © 2009